NIS : Client Postconfiguration

Each client will be receiving a copy of the NIS domains Hosts file from the NIS server after authentication. However, be sure that the client Hosts file does include a direct reference to the NIS server’s name and IP address for making an initial connection.


Ideally, users should access their home directories on the NIS server. Their home directory should be mapped as part of their login, so that their profile settings are available to the login process.


Export the /home directory with appropriate settings:

/home *,root_squash,async)

See Mounting, Unmounting and Exporting for a refresher.


2: Run the following command to make this take effect:

/usr/sbin/exportfs -a


As root, first back up then edit /etc/fstab on each client PC. Add a line similar to this:

server:/home /home nfs defaults 0 0

Just as you must with all mounts, test this one on your system and make sure, for instance, that default settings are appropriate with a command like this from your command line:

mount -t nfs -o defaults server:/home /home

Adjust any settings as necessary.


Technically, if you’ve configured services to start and specified your NIS server and domain as described earlier, you can reboot first your server, then your workstations, and immediately access your NIS domain.

In real life, this is where any configuration errors will make things tough. I’ve had experiences in which whole domains, created from scratch, came up immediately. But if you’re modifying PCs that have already been in use, you’re likely to make life much easier with the Authentication applet.

system-config-authentication: Open the Authentication applet. In various distros, it’s located at Desktop > System Settings > Authentication, or System > Administration > Authentication. The executable is /usr/bin/system-config-authentication, if you can’t find the menu item.

Check the check-box to Enable NIS Support, then click the Configure NIS button. In the dialog box that opens, enter the NIS domain name and the NIS server name or IP address. You may have immediate access; you may have to log out and/or reboot.

authconfig: This command pre-dates system-config-authentication, but generally seems more stable and complete. Issue a command like:

authconfig –enablenis –nisdomain=<domainname> –nisserver=<servername>

Read the man page for authconfig for a full discussion of its options and settings.